The 17 Biggest Chicken Breeds In the World

Chickens have been around for 10,000 years, and humans are still utilizing them for various reasons to this day. They are very interesting animals with a variety of breeds to acknowledge.

Today, we will be talking about the biggest chicken breeds in the world. 

Which is the largest chicken breed? Find out as we count up from the lightest breed to the heaviest breed.

17. Bantam Rosecomb 

  • Average Weight: 1.1 lb.
  • Average Height: 10 inches
  • Purpose: Meat

As one of the oldest chicken breeds, the Rosecomb is an attractive small bantam lively by nature. The records show that the earliest sightings of these fowls come from the 14th century in Britain, and in the 19th century, Rosecombs were introduced in North America (1).

The hen comes in a bantam variety of colors; black, blue-white, and black red. The Rosecomb isn’t the best egg layer amongst other breeds, but it is well known for its succulent meat. The chickens are usually friendly and easily handled (2).

16. Bantam Rhode Island Red

A Rhode Island Red hen on green grass
  • Average Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Average Height: 11 inches 
  • Purpose: Eggs 

As the state bird of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Red is an American breed of domestic chickens. Developed in the 19th century, cross-breeding between Malays and Leghorns were used to create the Rhode Island Red. (3)

As the name suggests, the chicken’s plumage is of lustrous deep red to the point where it almost seems black. When first bred, the hen was a dual-purpose breed, raised for both meat and eggs. Today, the Rhode Island Red chickens have been reserved for their egg-laying abilities and not so much for their meat. 

These are some of the best egg-laying chickens, averaging about 260 eggs per year. If you’d like a full list of the best egg-laying chickens, check out our article on the ten best egg-laying chicken breeds

15. Norweigan Jaerhon

  • Average Weight: 3 lbs. 
  • Average Height: 13.25 inches 
  • Purpose: Eggs

The Norwegian Jaerhon is the only chicken breed that is of true Norweigan origin. Developed around 1920, the Jaerhons lay massive white/tinted eggs despite their very lightweight; less than 5 pounds. 

Although the Jaerhon chickens prefer free-range roaming, the cock is certainly adaptable to confinement. Their colors range from dark brown, light yellow, and a “flame” color developed by the Sandhill Preservation Center.

14. Appenzeller 

  • Average Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Average Height: 13.75 inches 
  • Purpose: Free Range Eggs

Developed in Switzerland centuries ago, the Appenzeller chicken is a very unusual looking fowl. Its strange forward-pointing crest and v-shaped comb make the chicken one of the oddest looking ones on the list. 

The relatively light Appenzeller chicken doesn’t behave well in tight confinement as it is a very active breed. The purpose of the Appenzeller is to lay eggs in a free roam environment. In North America, the breed is rare, not recognized by either the American Poultry Association (APA) or other breed registries (4).

13. Hamburg 

  • Average Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Average Height: 13.75 inches 
  • Purpose: Eggs

Another ancient chicken breed on our list, Hamburg chickens are believed to have been around before 1400 in Holland’s country. These silver/gold-spangled chickens are also less tolerant of close confinement and try to avoid human contact as much as possible. 

The birds are known for their egg-laying and fast maturing. They lay about 150 eggs per year. 

12. Leghorn

  • Average Weight: 4.5 lbs.
  • Average Height: 14.5 inches 
  • Purpose: Eggs

The ancient but honored Leghorn chicken was developed in the 19th-20th century by the Romans. It is said that the Romans used the Leghorn chickens for various reasons, from ceremonies to the foretelling of the future.

The Leghorn egg layers lay an impressive 280 eggs annually and are an excellent chicken to keep in close captivity. The most famous Leghorn, most people, are familiar with, is Foghorn Leghorn from the show Looney Tunes. 

The Leghorn is the perfect beginner hen to start your very own chicken coop. If you’re looking to create your own coop, check out our article on DIY chicken coop plans.

11. Polish Chicken

Polish chicken looking for food in a garden
  • Average Weight: 4.5 lbs.
  • Average Height: 14.5 inches 
  • Purpose: Show Bird

Known for its remarkable crest of feathers, the Polish chicken breed’s origin is actually unknown despite the name perceiving an origin from Poland. The earliest records show that the chicken came from the Netherlands, making people wonder where the nickname “Polish” came from. 

Today, the Polish chicken is an ornamental bird, or “show bird.” Meaning, the cock isn’t used for laying eggs or for its meat. It can still lay eggs, but it isn’t the most reliable daily egg layer. It’s a great chick to have around children, or as pets, as these hens are very laid-back. 

10. White Faced Spanish

  • Average Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Average Height: 15.75 inches
  • Purpose: Eggs

The graceful White Faced Spanish chicken is rich in glossy black feathers with large red combs. It is the oldest chicken breed to come out of the Mediterranean class of poultry and fowl. The White Face Spanish has an unusual white face, which gives it a dramatic appearance (5).

9. Australorp

  • Average Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Average Height: 16 inches
  • Purpose: Eggs

As the only hen of Australian origin, the Australorp chicken breed is a calm and friendly bunch of birds. They are excellent at laying eggs, light brown eggs to be specific. For a giant chicken, the Australorp is a very delightful bird.

Anyone who is looking for chicken pets that lay dependably should look into purchasing an Australorp chicken. If you’d like more information on how to go about purchasing a chicken, read our article source here on where to buy chickens and how

8. Wyandotte 

  • Average Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Average Height: 16 inches
  • Purpose: Eggs and Meat

The Wyandotte is one of America’s favorite chickens. Developed in the North-Eastern regions of the U.S, the Wyandotte is the first American breed specifically bred for eggs and meat.

The “bird of the curves” comes in various laced colors; silver, gold, and white. The Wyandotte is generally a calm, docile, and friendly bird. Introducing this bird to a coop of chickens is less of a hassle than other birds on this list. If you’d like to know more about introducing chickens to the backyard flock, click here on our guide on how to introduce new chickens

7. Sussex

  • Average Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Average Height: 16.5 inches
  • Purpose: Eggs and Meat

An old English favorite developed in Sussex’s county, the Sussex chicken, has been with us for at least a couple of centuries. In the United States, this chicken breed has established a fantastic reputation for excellent egg-laying and meat production. 

The excellent egg-laying also makes it a great backyard chicken. Our article here on the benefits of raising chickens explains why owning some is a great investment. 

6. Faverolles

  • Average Weight: 7.5 lbs.
  • Average Height: 17 inches
  • Purpose: Eggs and Meat

Taken its name from the village of Faverolles in the southwest of Paris, the Faverolles chicken breed is the oddest looking hens on the list. The bird has muffs, a beard, feathered feet, and five toes parading in a rainbow of colors. 

As large chicken breeds, the Favorelles have magnificent egg-laying and meat-producing capabilities. You could call the Favorelles chickens “gentle giants” as they’re very shy and sweet-natured.

5. Plymouth Rock

  • Average Weight: 7.5 lbs.
  • Average Height: 17 inches
  • Purpose: Eggs

From here on out, you’ll be seeing some of the largest chicken breeds there is. Plymouth Rock chickens are one of America’s oldest breeds. Before World War 2, the nation’s main source of eggs was the Plymouth Rock chicken. It was once upon a time America’s favorite breed.

Encouraged and embraced by thousands of people, these egg layers could only be rivaled by one other breed, the Rhode Island Red. Today’s chicken industry is highly mechanized, but the Plymouth Rock chickens were a great source for quality eggs. 

 4. Orpington

  • Average Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Average Height: 17.25 inches
  • Purpose: Eggs and Meat

As one of the largest chicken breeds, the big friendly Orpington chicken was first developed in the United Kingdom, and for some small farms today, Orpington chickens are the way of life. Developed by breeder William Cook, these giants are dual-purpose and are used a lot by small farmers.

The powerhouse egg-laying power the Orpington hen possess makes them an extraordinary addition to any coop. They are a hardy breed, raised to survive even the most bitter of English winters due to their layers and feathers.

3. Cochin

  • Average Weight: 8.5 lbs.
  • Average Height: 17.25 inches
  • Purpose: Eggs and Meat

As the biggest Chinese bird on the list, the Cochin chicken giants were introduced in the 19th century, which sparked the country’s interest in poultry. The Chochin is a huge bird that varies in size, some weighing up to almost 12 pounds (6).

The giant chicken is dual purpose, laying extremely large eggs, most coming in the winter, and providing large portions of dark and white meat. 

2. Brahma

  • Average Weight: 9 lbs.
  • Average Height: 18 inches
  • Purpose: Meat

Known as the “King of All Poultry,” the Brahma is a large chicken breed developed in the United States from birds imported from China. Out of all the chicken breeds, the Brahma was the principal American meat breed from about the Civil War to before World War 2.

The light, dark, and buff Brahmas can develop into heavy fowls, especially the males, weighing in at around 10 pounds. Brahma chickens offer more in terms of poultry compared to any other birds on this list.

Although the Brahma chicken’s origin is controversial, the dinner table chicken is still very appreciated for its great size, strength, and vigor. This giant chicken Brahma has been documented to reach up to 12 pounds for full-grown cocks.

1. Jersey Giant

A black Jersey Giant hen roaming around the backyard
  • Average Weight: 11 lbs.
  • Average Height: 20 inches 
  • Purpose: Eggs

As the largest chicken in the world, the Jersey Giant was first developed by a man in New Jersey to fill a marketing niche. The name took some time to emerge, but the giant bird made its name famous through its size and strength. The Jersey Giants’ intent was to replace the turkey for Thanksgiving.

After being introduced into the American Poultry Association in 1922, the Jersey Giant chickens were raised as broilers. However, due to their slow growth in size, the world’s largest hens are kept off the menu.

The bird is a massive beast, with some chickens weighing up to 20 pounds and standing 26 inches tall. The largest chicken breed,  the Jersey Giant, is mellow and docile with very large eggs that make for wonderful backyard birds as one of the largest chicken breeds there is! 

  1. History of Breeds. Retrieved from: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/eggs/res10-breedhistory.html#12
  2. Rosecomb Information. Retrieved from: https://www.poultryhub.org/species/fancy-chicken-breeds/rosecomb/
  3. Poultry Breeds – Rhode Island Red. Retrieved from: https://afs.okstate.edu/breeds/poultry/chickens/rhodeislandred/
  4. American Poultry Association. Retrieved from: https://amerpoultryassn.com/
  5. White Faced Spanish. Retrieved from: https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/white_faced_black_spanish.html
  6. Cochin Bird. Retrieved from: https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/cochin
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